Sunday, December 20, 2009

What is the truth? Let’s turn to Nietzsche

"All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth". Friedrich Nietzsche.

So many valuable seconds of everyday of our lives go by in senseless discussions about who's right regarding different matters…And not only personal matters, but also international problems and differences between leaders that end up becoming impassable walls between countries that could be living in peace if it weren't for the yearn for power of the heads of state.

A lot of times those dilemmas lie in who is right and in who has the truth. We won't discuss how presidents solve their problems because we could stay talking (writing) forever, but what we can talk about is truth. As the famous German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "All truth is simple... is that not doubly a lie?" That could mean truth is not simple and there is no truth…

Wearing ourselves out trying to discover and to make clear to the world that we are right and that we have the truth is a waste of time. Not only there's no truth that every single person can accept because everything is subject to interpretation, as stated by Nietzsche in the first quote of this article, but also, what's the purpose of trying to convince each other that we "have the truth"?

Try this out: anytime, when you feel pretty sure about what you're saying, stop for a second and don't try to fight what the others are trying to explain; just listen carefully, close your eyes for a second and actually think about what they're saying, imagine every word and try to feel it makes sense…You may discover and understand that new meaning that was so obvious to others and so absurd to you.

Truly listening and not assuming there's just one truth is so comforting and enriching. There are countless interpretations of one same fact or situation that could make it look completely different to the eyes that understood just one other of those creative and original visions, which are each built up from diverse knowledge and cultural details that make them unique and highly valuable for others.

I'll turn to Nietzsche again with this quote: "All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking". We could use that one to; when there's anything we can't accept, when we think we have the truth and there's no way to understand another vision, walking could be a good idea…Walking with the different thoughts in mind could make them merge and become a new and more powerful thought, one "closer to the truth"…

There's no correct way of understanding this or of defining truth; truth will always be the most important thing for some and won't even exist for some others. But a positive way of living without even thinking if something is or is not "the truth", would be to stay open to every new vision and to take what's interesting or useful of each one of them and then let your mind create a new and powerful "truth" just for you.

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